Sunday, July 09, 2006

Design Intelligent Science Standards

Headlining the Columbus Dispatch Metro Section (7/9/06):

Revisiting intelligent design

--- The synapsis- Several Ohio education board members suggest that science standards on topics such as evolution, global warming, stem-cell research, and cloning need to provide a template "so schools would be comfortable discussing controversial issues."

Controversial issues. Not to scientists... why are non-scientists allowed to look at science without recognition of the long, hard, years and years of research that went into developing these theories?

Are these issues controversial because people aren't educated in the true nature of what is a scientific theory? A theory is not just a speculation... a theory is something that can be proven again and again and again.... new fossil finds support climate records examined continue to show that fossil fuel burning is leading to overall global warming... My 'theory' that is going to rain tomorrow is not a theory.... but a guess...a hypothesis.... a belief... (nothing against beliefs...I have them too, but as a scientist, I try to not intermix my personal beliefs in scientific discussions-- keeping the science science)Let's teach students they can still have their guesses and beliefs... but scientific theories hold as long as they withstand future testing.

Is it any wonder that Ohio State education standards are trailing behind reading and math, when one of the proposed questions on state science exams is: "Describe that scientists may disagree about explanations of phenomena, about interpretations of data or about the value of rival theories, but they do agree that questioning response to critism an open communications are integral to the process of science...Discuss and be able to apply this in the following areas: global warming; evolution theory; emerging technologies and how they may impact society, e.g cloning or stem-cell research"

This question has no place in a state science exam....

This is philosophical... this is belief. Keep this discussion outside of science classrooms.

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